The BBC has received more than 18,600 complaints over its use of the N word during a news report, yet many of us are silent on its usage in the music industry. This hypocritical double standards does nothing to elevate racial equality.
The BBC has come under for using the N word during a news report on the racism attack on 21-year-old NHS worker and musician known as K-Dogg.
According to the BBC, K-Dogg’s family gave them permission to use the word to demonstrate the reality of racism in British society. Despite this, over 18,600 people complained and popular BBC Radio 1Xtra Presenter, DJ Sideman, resigned with immediate effect in protest at the organisation’s use of the word. (BBC 6 August 2020: BBC receives 18,600 complaints over use of racial slur in news report)
I respect DJ Sideman’s decision to leave the BBC. It was a brave one and shows character. (Tanya Snuggs, 9 August 2020, Sky News: 1Xtra DJ Sideman quits BBC over use of racist term in news report). It can be argued that the BBC used the offensive term not out of moral outrage, but more to do with stirring up controversy and improving the ratings of the show.
Whatever we may believe about the N word being used in the public domain by broadcasters, I think that few people would disagree that the N word is the most destructive, nonsensical and stupid African-American export to mainstream society and music culture.
The Ku Klux Klan could not have dreamed this up, that following the achievements of the Civil Rights Movement, black people themselves would bring back the N word into popular culture!
We may argue only black people are allowed to say it to each other, but it makes no sense whatsoever in my view why any black person would want to reclaim a derogatory term.
So if we are going to condemn the BBC, we must also condemn every single black musician and artist who continues to keep the word alive and within the public domain.
Popular African-American comedian Chris Rock are among a few artists that are beginning to see how their usage of the N word has provided a licence to racists to subtly hide their racism behind rap music.
It’s time that we began rejecting this ugly African-American cultural export and replace it with something that empowers us rather than degrades us.
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